Vice Versa (1948)

Article #1092 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-11-2004
Posting Date: 8-8-2004
Directed by Peter Ustinov
Featuring Roger Livesey, Kay Walsh, Petula Clark

A boy and his father wish upon the eye of an idol from the temple of the laughing hyena and end up switching bodies.

Switcheroo comedies are really not all that common, so it’s actually pretty strange that I would run into two in a row, as this one follows right on the heels of TURNABOUT, but that’s the way things fall out. This is a British take on the concept which takes place at the turn of the century; the credits are presented in the form of a slide show of old placards that is quite amusing. In its way it’s as wild as TURNABOUT, though it’s more in that British absurdist mode where the world itself seems to have gone mad; it’s quite surreal at times and occasionally reminiscent of Monty Python. Roger Livesey and a very young Anthony Newley play the father and son, and a young Petula Clark also appears as the daughter of the cruel headmaster. I found it all very amusing, but you do need to be a fan of British comedy of this sort.

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